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Letters to the Editor

Rights for all

April 5, 2012

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To the editor:

The Kansas Preservation of Religious Freedom Act has a name chosen to evoke strong positive feelings, and based on these words alone, who could disagree? After all, our country was founded on religious freedom.

Our society has evolved to accept the principle that all people have certain fundamental rights, and we have enacted laws to guarantee them.  These rights do not depend on a particular belief system (e.g. religion), nor should they be abrogated by one. They must stand on their own and be uniformly applied in order to ensure that everyone can enjoy their benefits equally. When we start making exceptions based on one group’s belief system then we are headed for trouble.

Proponents of this bill claim that certain anti-discrimination laws take away their religious freedom, but how far could this go? Could a landlord who follows a Taliban-like interpretation of Islam use this law to prevent a single woman from renting an apartment?  Would we tolerate this type of discrimination?

The only solutions that can work are those based on fundamental human principles that are not dependent on any specific religious point of view.  Those who agree with this precept are sometimes viewed as being against religious freedom, but religion cannot be allowed to trump basic human rights.  Our country gives you the best guarantee in the world that you will have the freedom to believe as you wish, but we cannot allow such beliefs to deprive someone of rights that belong to us all.

Comments

abit_pssd 2 years ago

Hey man, not too bad. I like your style of thinking. One caveat, devils advocate, is the belief in Natural Law v. Fundamental rights. There are none. Yes, I know. But it really is not apples and oranges.

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Christine Anderson 2 years ago

Oops- what "are" the specifics?

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Christine Anderson 2 years ago

I am as yet uninformed regarding this bill. What is the specifics?

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Bruce Springsteen 2 years ago

Excellent letter. If you can't make your argument in terms that any decent, fair-minded person should be able to appreciate, regardless of their religious commitments, that argument has no place in the business of the government.

This applies to small intrusions of a religious agenda as well as large, because to say that you know how much religion, or what kind, is tolerable in secular government, is to arrogate to yourself the privilege of using armed government to endorse - and enforce - private belief, the thin edge of the theocratic wedge. Nobody has any authority to intrude the supernatural into the law of the United States, or to arbitrate how much and what kind is OK. Not liberals, conservatives, or anybody.

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Paul R Getto 2 years ago

Pandora's Box? Kill this sucker; we don't need it; Kansas doesn't need it; America doesn't need it. Good letter.

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just_another_bozo_on_this_bus 2 years ago

"Could a landlord who follows a Taliban-like interpretation of Islam use this law to prevent a single woman from renting an apartment?"

And likewise, could an adherent of the Christian Identity cult refuse to rent to African-Americans or any other "non-Aryans" because they believe that separation of the races is god's will?

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usnsnp 2 years ago

Another law that the state will have to defend in court, more work for lawyers,

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